At the very end of the 2024 Land Cruiser presentation held in early August, Toyota showed two shadowy silhouettes of unknown SUVs. One of them was a small boxy vehicle that looked an awful lot like how we’d imagine an FJ Cruiser revival. A couple of weeks later, a trademark was filed in Japan for the “Land Hopper” moniker, suggesting a name has been chosen for the compact off-roader. A new report suggests the box on wheels is coming soon.
Japan’s Best Car magazine claims a decision has been made to launch a smaller Land Cruiser positioned below the 250 and 300 models. It’s said to take after the former in terms of styling and have roughly the same size as a Corolla Cross. For reference, the compact crossover is 176.1 inches long, 71.9 inches wide, and 64.9 inches tall. While the Corolla Cross has a unibody construction, the Land Hopper is said to be more rugged by riding on a body-on-frame platform by using a shortened GA-F architecture borrowed from the 250 and 300.
The most interesting part of the report is not about the potential name, size, or platform. The report alleges Toyota intends to launch the Land Hopper with gasoline and hybrid powertrains instead of a purely electric drivetrain. That would come as a surprise considering the Compact Cruiser concept (pictured below) from late 2021 was an EV.
Best Car believes a zero-emission variant might come in a few years, but the initial versions will be pure gasoline and hybrid. The publication claims the Land Hopper could borrow the 1.8-liter gasoline and hybrid powertrains from the Corolla Cross or the bigger 2.0-liter gasoline and 2.5-liter hybrid setups from the RAV4.
As to when we’ll see it, that remains a mystery. For what it’s worth, the Century SUV was teased in June in a similar manner during the premiere of the Alphard and Vellfire minivans before being introduced earlier this month. Assuming Toyota has a similar strategy in place for the Land Hopper, the debut could take place late this year or in early 2024, but this is merely speculation on our part.
Since the model has been teased, we can say with certainty that it’s coming sooner rather than later. Best Car goes as far as to say we’ll see it next month at the Japan Mobility Show (October 25 – November 5) before it goes on sale in the second half of 2024.